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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The death of Lady Emma Portman, Lady of the Bedchamber, 8th February 1865

Lady Emma Portman was Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1851, after she stepped down from service in 1851 she was granted the tittle of 'Extra Lady of the Bedchamber' She was a close attendant to the Queen and was heavily involved with the gossip regarding the Lady Flora Hastings scandal, although her reputation was tarnished she did stay ever faithful to the Queen. Queen Victoria was made aware of her friends death on the 12th February, she expresses her shock and saddens in her journal entry -

Lady Emma Portman 1860 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

"A very fine frosty morning, with a bright sun. — Rode on my pony with Lenchen walking a little on the way back. We were out nearly 2 hours. — Saw Sir C. Wood, about a 2nd. & 3rd class of the Star of India, which is to be established, & which he says is quite in consonance with what dearest Albert wished. Then talked of my statue for Bombay & one of him, which they wish to have, in the Museum there. Also talked of America & the danger, which seems approaching, of our having a war with her, as soon as & she makes peace, — of the impossibility of our being able to hold Canada, but we must struggle for it, & far the best would be to let it go as an independent Kingdom, under an English Prince! But can we stave this off, & who could be chosen! I told Sir C.Wood, that dearest Albert had often thought of the Colonies for our sons, but that I had disliked the idea. However now I felt, once knowing the serious reasons put before me, I could not but entertain the thought, though for Alfred it would not do. For Arthur it might be different. —

At ½ p. 3 went with the girls to afternoon service at Whippingham church, which we like. The service is so well done, & the church so pretty. On coming back took a short walk with the Dss of Atholl. —

The poor Duke of Northumberland died quite suddenly this morning, which I am very sorry for. He was a kind & old friend of ours. My excellent Lady Portman also died on the 8th. It shocked me very much, as she seemed so well & happy last summer, when she came, once more to attend on me, & I envied her, her happiness with her husband! So many friends gone! — Css Blücher came over to my room, as usual, & I spun very successfully. — Harriet P. Sir C. Wood & Gen: Hood dined, & the Countess read to me afterwards of "Aurora Leigh". — Very strange, but interesting. —"

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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